“A Fresh Year”
By Annita Denny
The high school wrestling cheer team have three new additions to mat this year. Juniors Carmen Klos, Lauren Klos and, myself, Annita Denny, are very excited to be a part of the wrestling cheer team this year and have been enjoying learning all that there is to know about wrestling cheer. As a new cheerleader, it can be hard to learn a lot of new cheers, but slowly and surely, we have been getting the hang of keeping the beat and cheering on each match. One thing I’ve learned so far this year, even though we’ve had just a few meets, is that it is really fun, but it is also very tiring.
The Klos twins aren’t entirely new to the cheer team as they have participated in basketball cheer as well and are doing both sports this year. When asked about the differences between the two, Lauren shared, “they are different by the different kinds of cheers you have learn. The rhythms are all different and the sports are completely different.” Carmen adds, “they have different atmospheres, too. Wrestling is sitting on a mat while in basketball, we are standing on the court. Wrestling has a lot of different rhythms to use and it is harder for me to remember.”
Both sports have highly competitive atmospheres and cheers definitely do them justice. The cheering for each team comes with its own unique challenges. “Wrestling is much harder for me, because I have been doing basketball for three years now so learning something new is hard but not impossible. It is a struggle for me to do both the rhythm and the cheer at the same time but I will keep working on it, and it will become easier,” Lauren comments. Carmen also says that wrestling cheer has been more challenging this year, “I would say that wrestling is harder than basketball. Sometimes the basketball and the wrestling cheers are the same, but said differently. It is also harder for me because I have been on the basketball cheer squad three years prior to wrestling.”
Despite the challenge of learning and memorizing so many new cheers, it is still worth the hard work and a lot of fun to be on the team. Lauren comments, “I love the squad I cheer with and the wrestlers also. Even though we cheer for a small team, it is still really fun to cheer them on.” Carmen includes, “I love the squad and the people apart of it. I enjoy it as it gets me into something out of my comfort zone and experience new things.” There are definitely exciting things to come for the cheer squad and the basketball and wrestling teams!
“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
By Gavin Tindle aka “Mr. Christmas”
As many of you know, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. There is just no other season like it- families coming together, and seeing the joy on peoples faces when they get a gift is one of the greatest feelings there is. Here at Montezuma Community Schools, we celebrate Christmas a little differently. Our wonderful student council, takes the time and effort to plan a whole day of activities the last day of school before break for the 6-12th grade students. During this time, they provide yummy treats such as s’mores bars, hot cocoa, and cookies. They host a series of games as well which helps get everybody in the holiday spirit. And true to Monte tradition, the games get pretty competitive as students compete for Christmas present prizes.
Each game has a different holiday theme, for example, Santa’s snack race which requires a team of students or teachers to run across the gym, each person consuming a holiday themed snack before racing back to the other side. Another favorite is the final game of the event which is the “Snowball Fight” or otherwise fondly known as dodgeball. The staff competes against students and it gets pretty intense. Of course, it is all in good fun and it is a good laugh for everybody watching and those who play.
I recently spoke with Ms. Talyor, the student council advisor, and asked for her thoughts on holiday extravaganza. She shares, “This is a great way for the council to give back to the students who support them all year. And the students to get a break and relax at school with their friends before the break.” As we talked more, she described one of the challenges of putting together such a high paced event is that you really have to plan out everything to make sure it runs smoothly.
The holiday extravaganza event is just another way that Montezuma comes together to make a fun and welcoming atmosphere for both staff and students. We hope that it continues to carry on for many years to come.
“The 2019 MontezumaWrestling Team”
By Dillon Nash
The wrestling team is seeing somewhat of a shortage of athletes going out for the season this year. In years past, the ladder has grown and filled a few more weight brackets making a more distributed team, but now there are three individuals representing the wrestling team. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, it just means there will not be a full team that will represent Montezuma at the matches. With this, the scoring will have to rely on the wrestlers who are part of the team to get the points and scores they need to win. This will definitely pose a challenge for the team as they will have to work extra hard to grow and progress throughout the season. Some may seem concerned about this, but the three young men on this team are showing great strength and improvement already and the season continues to grow more and more exciting.
Head coach Mr. Kriegel has been working hard to get the boys prepared for the season ahead. He said, “It's a process for beginners, it’s about helping them get used to it and learning about it. I like it because it helps me get more one on one time with each of the athletes to help them improve.” All three wrestlers are new to wrestling, specifically junior Brian Diaz and senior Chance Gillum are experiencing the sport for the first time. Freshman Kennan Roadcap has wrestled in his younger years and is starting his high school wrestling career fresh this season. Mr Kriegel shares about the team as a whole saying, “It’s part of our motto, being the Braves, because it’s a Brave journey that these wrestlers go through.”
It is safe to assume that wrestling this year will have its many challenges, but it also shows lots of promise and excitement for what’s to come. The boys have been training harder than ever and they are determined more than ever for a successful season.
“Seniors say goodbye to high school and graduate at semester”
By Maddy Mckeag
Every year at Montezuma High School, there are a few seniors that choose to graduate a semester early. Although graduating at semester they will not be able to participate in any spring or summer activities, a number of seniors in the class of 2020 decided to be done earlier than May. The seniors graduating early this year are Hunter Van Dee, Isabella Lang, Tristan Moyer, Chandler Carl, and Amanda Westbrook.
As all graduated seniors do, they will be going their separate ways. Hunter Van Dee will be working a full-time job until he attends DMACC in the fall of 2020. When talking with him about how he feels about graduating, and he said, “I am excited, yet it is kind of sad. I will go from seeing my classmates every day to possibly never seeing some of them again.” He looks forward to what life has to offer him and the next steps in his life.
All these graduating seniors impacted the halls of Montezuma in a special way, and they will all be missed in the last semester and the following year. They are all bright young people who have a lot of success and happiness ahead of them. As a senior myself, I will miss them all next semester, but I wish them all the best. We know that they will do great things, whatever they may be.
"Ending on a good ‘Note’"
By Rebeka Teumer
As we close this semester and leap into the next one, it is easy to feel relieved that we are halfway through with this school year, but for a lot of the students involved with fine arts, closing the semester is not just full of excitement but also reminiscence. This first semester brought so many great things, but also so many “lasts”. For many of our seniors, this semester was their last musical practice, their last costume change, and their last opening night.
For me, as a sophomore member of the musical cast, for the last 6 years, I have been able to be involved in small ways by helping my mom with costumes, being on stage crew, and being a cast member. Through it all, I have been able to see the seniors progress into the performers they have become. It is both scary and exciting to think about next year because I know that there will be upcoming talent and the underclassmen will get a chance to showcase their talents, however, we are losing so many members that bring so much to the musical table. It is hard to say goodbye to a cast that has developed into a family and I can honestly say, this year’s cast has become mine.
Maddy McKeag, a senior who has been involved in the last two musicals said, “The performances are fun and I am going to miss being on the stage, but I’m glad to be done because it is so nice to have a free weekend!” Rachel Teumer, a senior who has been involved in musical productions for the last 6 years said, “It was really hard to perform on the last night because musicals have become my life. Being involved in musicals and speech and drama has definitely shaped me into the person I have become and will continue to teach me in my future. It is definitely eye-opening to realize that this November I took my last ‘high school musical bow’, but I am so ready to graduate and start my future.”
Thank you to everyone who has supported us by coming to the musical. I am looking forward to finding out what next year’s musical will be and seeing all the talent to grace our stage in next year’s performance.
“Speech and Drama Season Approaches”
By Niykala Smith
If you’re wondering, “what is speech and drama, anyway?” The short answer is that speech and drama is a space where you can dance, sing, act, and express your personality. Students build confidence and performance skills to help them succeed in all areas of life. It is a very easy process to get involved with speech and drama and anyone considering it, should definitely sign up.
Usually, teachers that are involved and coach will pass out forms and signup sheets to the students who want to participate. Students sign up for speech and fill out all the paperwork for permission. If you would proceed in speech, you then would have to participate in all the practices. Coaches find material to use for groups and individuals and many times let the group decide the direction they want to go between different pieces. After you’ve chosen the type of music or acting piece or whatever that may be, teachers would usually recommend you do
“homework” on it. If you are in an acting piece, the teacher would have you look at the character and do research to find the character's motives within the piece. If the character didn’t have a background, the coach would make sure you create their background for them. Sometimes you would compare the character to yourself or your personal life scenarios, and whoever makes a difference or an impact in your life. This helps to bring out your personality and your character’s and it helps improve yourself as a person.
Four year speech and drama student Shelby Conger, explained the reason she joined speech “was to be more comfortable in speaking in front of people.” She also said, “It made me more confident in front of people and made me more outgoing.” Long time speech coach Mrs. Liesl Roorda stated that, “Students join because it's a creative outlet for their talent and a great way to express themselves and also prepare themselves for the future by pushing into new areas.”
By the end of the speech and drama experience, you will be excited and ready to start again for the next season. I’ve participated in speech and drama every year of my high school career and it has really helped me cope with many things in my life. I believe that everyone should give speech and drama a try, you never know how much you could love it.
“Dance Team Does Monte Proud at State”
By Kaleah Shoemaker
Montezuma Dance team went to state for the third year this year, performing three different routines including jazz, pom, and hip-hop. The team performed on Thursday, December 5. Starting off the day with a jazz routine choreographed by Vanessa Hilton was a great way for the girls to get a feel of what performing in Wells Fargo is like and also made us push harder to get the trophy that we longed to achieve. Then we went into the pom routine and tried to push even harder wanting to get something to bring back to the school and show how hard we worked over the summer and fall.
Sophomore, Haley Vanderhart said,”It was fun to watch all the bigger schools and how they performed pom, I also liked watching how the bigger teams went about choreographing the different styles.” Going into the afternoon the team performed hip-hop. This was the strongest routine from the whole day and a great cap to the experience. At the awards ceremony, Montezuma took home a division 1 in pom and 3rd place in hip-hop.
“Stockman Crushes the Clarinet Competition at All State Band”
By Kaleah Shoemaker
Brayden Stockman started off his year playing Topher in the school’s musical “Cinderella.” It was hard to keep your eyes off of the talent he has, but the musical is not the only amazing thing he is doing! He tried out for All-State honor band, one of his biggest life goals, and was one of the elite 20% of auditioners that got accepted, and one of the top 1% of all Iowa high school musicians.
Brayden told me about his experience with auditions and All-State itself and said, “I started preparing for auditions in June of this year, and I had to prepare two technically advanced etudes, every major scale, my chromatic scale, and a showy solo. On the day of auditions, I competed against 60 other clarinets in front of one judge, and nervously awaited my results. Of the 60 clarinets that originally auditioned, only 22 were recalled, which meant that the judge wanted to hear them again to see if they were worthy of making All-State. I was recalled, which meant I auditioned on a different part of the etudes, and was one of the 20 clarinets accepted into the All-State band. It was an incredibly stressful day, but all my work ended up paying off!”
Brayden played the Clarinet III part, and at the festival, he placed in 7th chair out of thirty-seven. “All State is the most elite band in the state, and only 176 people were accepted, so to be part of such a big and elite band was such a great honor for me. Small schools often aren’t represented because so many big schools audition in our district, like Iowa City and Davenport, so to make it from a small-town school into such a prestigious band was an amazing honor, and I will cherish the memories forever,” Stockman shares.
“Yearbook Staff Christmas Outing”
By Maddy Carl
On December 12, the Montezuma yearbook staff participated in an outing to support a great cause in central Iowa. Every year, the yearbook crew chooses a cause or need to support in some way during the holiday season. This year, we went shopping for Christmas gifts for kids living in homelessness. The Iowa Homeless Youth Center of Des Moines is an amazing organization that supports this students and their families in getting the help they need. The youth center specifically supports kids living in homelessness.
The Iowa Homeless Youth Center works hard to help the kids and families become self-sufficient and help them plan a healthy and successful future. Within the facility, they provide counseling, temporary housing, after school activities and hot meals.
Visiting the center in person really made an impact on how it feels to give to people who really need it the most. I know it was a good experience for me. I really enjoyed going shopping knowing that the yearbook team was getting stuff for someone who probably doesn’t get to have a Christmas. We at the yearbook staff, hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!